Abuja is the capital city of Nigeria. Built in the 80s, it is one of the best planned and laid out cities in Nigeria. Originally inhabited by the Gbagyi, Bassa Gade, Ganagana, and Koro people, it presently serves as a neutral ground for all the different cultures in Nigeria. Because of its unique positioning, it manages to combine the rustic with the modern. One of the easiest cities to navigate, Abuja’s roads and transportation are top notch and relatively inexpensive.
If you’re popping into Abuja sometime soon or perhaps you live there, avoid being bored by visiting one the numerous fun places and doing some of these exciting activities.
1.Hiking… Go Rock Climbing!
Break a sweat climbing the many hills and mountains of Abuja and enjoy the scenic views they bring you. Zuma rock is just one of the many but the most popular due to the myths surrounding it.
There are also many hiking groups in Abuja — a very lucrative business that a lot of adventurers are going into. Most are safe as they often trail the path before the day and offer many benefits; from networking to food to discounts during camping adventures. Hiking trips holds every Saturday.
Abuja offers a variety of outdoor cinemas that are cosy and serene, which is a perfect affordable date idea for you and your partner. Sunset Drive is a drive-in cinema that allows you the comfort of sitting in your car and tuning to the station for the movie while watching it on the big screen. You could have the experience and cross it off your bucket list.
You can also decide to catch a movie in one of the several cinemas scattered around the city that offers blockbusters and inimitable Nigerian movies, some of them include Omega centre, Silverbird Cinema, the French cultural centre and many more.
- Jabi Boat Club
The closest thing to a beach experience in Abuja is the Jabi lake. Jabi Boat Club is a family entertainment centre designed to offer water based recreational facilities for the people of Abuja and its environs as well as tourists, reaching out to all ages and inclinations. The state-of-the-art water-based sporting facilities makes the Jabi Lake a compelling place to visit for both families and individuals with the LOVE for water sports and recreation. There’s also a restaurant where you can hang out with friends before and after your water adventure.
- Arts and Craft Village
Visit the village that is part of the adventurer’s starter pack. Beautiful African art and crafts are sold by Northern vendors in thatched huts.
- Visit National Monuments
Abuja has no shortage of fantastic architecture, some of which include the Abuja National Mosque, which was built in 1984 by Lodigiani Nigeria and designed by AIM Consultants. The mosque is an explorer’s delight and is open to the public except during prayer times. The National Christian Centre, with its neo-gothic design, is another architectural monument that will delight the tourist. Others include the National Library, the Ministry of Defence (built in the shape of a ship), ECOWAS Secretariat, and so much more.
- Don’t Go Chasing Waterfalls
Although you can visit the Jabi Lake, which is a calming and beautiful body of water, it is skirted by the Jabi Park, where you can go horseback riding, and a mall where you can easily do your shopping. Jabi lake also offers boat rides, different kinds of water sports, and beautiful shots, especially in the evenings. And if you must chase waterfalls, then a visit to Gurara Falls should be on your list. Not only does it have a lot of myths surrounding it, but the falls is also a favourite of bird watchers (for the myriad species of birds that makes the surroundings their home) and great for picnicking. The Usman Dam and Pedam Lake are also open for exploration, picnicking, and birdwatching.
- Relax at a Park
The Millennium Park, designed by Manfredi Nicoletti, is one of the biggest and most beautifully laid out in the city. Others include the Julius Berger Waterfront Park, Eden Parks and Garden, Area 1 Recreational Garden, and many more. You can exercise, ride a bicycle, play football, or simply take in the sun and people watch at these parks.
- Go Shopping at an Open Market
The Utako Market is the liveliest and crowded; it is also considered a farmers’ market and you can get fresh fruits and vegetables cheaply from the market. Garki Model Market, on the other hand, is the least crowded because it is well laid out and more tightly controlled. There is also the Wuse Market, considered the most popular, and a little larger than Wuse Market is the Garki International Market, where you can buy clothes and confectioneries. Kado Fish Market is the place to go for your freshwater food and yummy fruits.
- Buy or Window Shop Art
As vast as Nigeria is, so are the multitudes of arts that can be seen and bought, and aside from the arts that can be bought in marketplaces, there are several art galleries with well-curated sculptures, installations, and paintings. Some galleries that have made their home in Abuja include Nike Art Gallery, Thought Pyramid Art Centre, and Omega Gallery. Bwari Pottery Village, like its name, implies that it is dedicated to the art of pottery making. You can watch potters at work, explore the different sections, and buy pitchers, casserole dishes, or teapots.
- Or Step into the Cool Interior of a Shopping Mall
There are many shopping malls in Abuja where you don’t have to subject yourself to crowds or temperamental shop owners. Some of the most popular are the Ceddi Plaza, Jabi Lake Mall, Park ‘n’ Shop, Asokoro Shopping Mall, and many more.
- Eat Street Food
The point of an adventure is getting to experience new cultures and experiencing the cuisine of these cultures shouldn’t be missed. Because of its nature as a capital city, Abuja is a hodgepodge of tastes and olfactory delights. Eating suya, in its many forms (chicken, beef, ram, goat, turkey) and textures (kilishi/grilled) is a must. There’s also masa, milk curd/cheese (wara), akara, and different dishes from across Nigeria that are sold in different cafeterias around the city.
- Step It Up at a Five-Star Restaurant
You can have breakfast, lunch, or dinner out with friends or lovers at places like the Blucabana, Jevinik (specializing in local dishes), 355 Steakhouse and Lounge, Nkoyo (specializing in local dishes), Wakkis (Indian), Zuma (steakhouse), and so much more.
- Wild Out
Another feature of Abuja that excites visitors is its nightlife, with a myriad of lounges, peppersoup joints, and nightclubs, so having a good time in the city is not a problem. Skybar Rooftop Lounge has one of the best views and ambiances in the city. The Mashoria Arena has great cocktails and music, as does the Caribbean Lounge and Nightclub.
- Train Ride to Kaduna
The very recent adventure trend in Abuja is the ‘daycation’ to Kajuru castle in Kaduna. You can take a train ride with your friends in the morning, which takes you to the different stations in Abuja and then to its final stop in Kaduna. This takes about two hours. You could take advantage of the trip by sightseeing Kaduna — the markets, mosques and finally the majestic stone castle of Kajuru that has stood for over 30 years. You can do the whole thing and be back in Abuja, again by train, before nightfall.